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"How do you hard-sell the idea that the hard sell is a bad thing?"
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "The most impressive thing about "Merchants of Doubt" may be the apparent lack of resignation on the part of its makers. It is, after all, a documentary that is well-researched, clear in its message, and attractively presented, but which ultimately seems to conclude that being all of those things may not matter. Director Robert Kenner must have known this going in, but makes the effort anyway, trying to dismantle the apparatus built to repel the point he would probably rather be making." (more)
"Keep your expectations reasonable."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... ""It Follows" is a slow-burn, reasonably creepy horror film with an unusual premise that promotes subtext to text." (more)
"Andy's day in the sun; the full story remains to be told."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "There’s probably a great documentary to be made about the swift rise and equally swift dissolution of the rock band the Police, but "Can’t Stand Losing You" isn’t it." (more)
"Frantically imaginative but cold."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "In "Cheatin’," the seventh animated feature by cult favorite Bill Plympton, the plot runs on a misunderstanding that could be cleared up by a short conversation — if the characters could talk. But this film, like Plympton’s previous Idiots and Angels, has no dialogue, so it takes the central married couple the length of the movie to figure it all out." (more)
"Flying high"
5 stars
Stephen Groenewegen says... "These days most Hollywood blockbusters are released in Australia around the same time as the US. Unfortunately this is not the case for films deemed awards-worthy by their distributors. Piracy be damned; there’s an unwritten law that most ‘Oscar films’ need to be crammed into Australian cinemas during a three-week period in January-February. So Birdman, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in August 2014 and was released in the US in October, didn’t arrive in Australia until January 2015, after nearly five months of hype." (more)
ANIMAL (2014)
"When Animal Attacks!"
3 stars
Charles Tatum says... "Drew Barrymore is one of many executive producers in this typical "monster on the loose" flick that could generate many a straight-to-video sequel." (more)
"Cuts together comedy and giallo fairly well."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 17: During the post-film Q&A, the director jokingly (I think) suggested it was better to make straight horror films rather than horror-comedies like "The Editor", if only for the relative difficulty in securing distribution. That's not quite the reaction I've had to it and the other movies I've seen by Canadian filmmaking team Astron-6, but I have wondered what they would accomplish if they stopped making spoofs. They clearly know what made these movies work, and they might make the leap from impressive to great, even if they tweak cult movies with love rather than malice." (more)
"Gets Deep Under Your Skin"
4 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "Neither a failure nor smash at the box office, it stood out in what was one of the very best years in the '80s." (more)
"Long in limbo, but worth the wait."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The Wrecking Crew" has had a long time on the path to release - it played the festival circuit back in 2008, but it started shooting in 1996, meaning that it took director Denny Tedesco nearly two decades to shoot, edit, and secure the ability to use the music and video necessary to tell the story of Los Angeles studio musicians in the 1960s. As an audience member, it's worth it, but it's a good thing that this was a labor of love on Tedesco's part." (more)
"Atmospheric, Colorful Crime Tale"
4 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "Didn't exactly set the world on fire with a box-office take of less than $13 million, it's definitely recommendable and an underrated entry of its genre." (more)

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